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Trust in the Land: New Directions in Tribal Conservation

Overview

“The Earth says, God has placed me here. The Earth says that God tells me to take care of the Indians on this earth; the Earth says to the Indians that stop on the Earth, feed them right. . . . God says feed the Indians upon the earth.”

—Cayuse Chief Young Chief, Walla Walla Council of 1855

America has always been Indian land. Historically and culturally, Native Americans have had a strong appreciation for the land and what it offers. After continually struggling to hold on to ...

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Overview

“The Earth says, God has placed me here. The Earth says that God tells me to take care of the Indians on this earth; the Earth says to the Indians that stop on the Earth, feed them right. . . . God says feed the Indians upon the earth.”

—Cayuse Chief Young Chief, Walla Walla Council of 1855

America has always been Indian land. Historically and culturally, Native Americans have had a strong appreciation for the land and what it offers. After continually struggling to hold on to their land and losing millions of acres, Native Americans still have a strong and ongoing relationship to their homelands. The land holds spiritual value and offers a way of life through fishing, farming, and hunting. It remains essential—not only for subsistence but also for cultural continuity—that Native Americans regain rights to land they were promised.

Beth Rose Middleton examines new and innovative ideas concerning Native land conservancies, providing advice on land trusts, collaborations, and conservation groups. Increasingly, tribes are working to protect their access to culturally important lands by collaborating with Native and non- Native conservation movements. By using private conservation partnerships to reacquire lost land, tribes can ensure the health and sustainability of vital natural resources. In particular, tribal governments are using conservation easements and land trusts to reclaim rights to lost acreage. Through the use of these and other private conservation tools, tribes are able to protect or in some cases buy back the land that was never sold but rather was taken from them.

Trust in the Land sets into motion a new wave of ideas concerning land conservation. This informative book will appeal to Native and non-Native individuals and organizations interested in protecting the land as well as environmentalists and government agencies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Middleton illuminates a new and exciting avenue for advancing tribal sovereignty and environmental justice in Indian country." –SAIL

"Beth Middleton’s Trust in the Land is a well-researched, well-written book which offers an important analysis of private conservation tools as a way for indigenous peoples to reacquire ownership of their traditional lands and, perhaps more importantly, re-establish a relationship with these lands by reasserting their rights of stewardship as the land’s original inhabitants." –AlterNative

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Beth Rose Middleton has published articles in Economic Development Quarterly, the Journal of Political Ecology, Ethnohistory, and News from Native California. She is an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, in the Department of Native American Studies, where she has developed courses on Native public health, Native environmental policy, and federal Indian law.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Foreword Clifford E. Trafzer ix

Preface: The Heart K Ranch xiii

Acknowledgments xxiii

1 Introduction 1

2 Context of Private Conservation 7

3 Environmental Justice and Tribal Conservation 34

Section 1 Native American Land Conservation Organizations 43

4 InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council (California) 45

5 Native American Land Conservancy (California/National) 65

6 The Art and Science of Creating a 501(c)(3) Native American Land Conservancy Kurt Russo 87

Section 2 Collaborations between Tribes and Land Trusts 99

7 Mitigation of Tribal Development: Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (California) 101

8 Senate Bill 18 (Burton) and Mitigation of Non-Tribal Development: Morongo Band of Mission Indians (California) 109

9 Developing Cultural Conservation Easements: Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Michigan) 119

10 Native Nonprofits and Petitioning Tribes: Tsi-Akim Maidu (California) 129

11 Alaska Native Lands: Kachemak Heritage Land Trust (Alaska) and Nushagak-Mulchatna Wood-Tikchik Land Trust (Alaska) 138

12 Land Purchases and Fee-to-Trust Considerations: Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe (Washington) 163

13 Land Purchases and Fee-to-Trust Considerations: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (North Carolina) 175

14 Watershed Protection: Nisqually Indian Tribe (Washington) 185

15 Partnerships for Native land Management: Cache Creek Conservancy Tending and Gathering Garden (California) 195

Section 3 Tribes and NRCS Conservation Tools 211

16 Tribal Resource Conservation Districts, the Coarsegold Resource Conservation District, and the Susanville Indian Rancheria (California) 213

17 Conclusion 223

Appendix: Interviewees 253

Notes 257

References 303

Index 315

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